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Welcome to  ‘Ask The Expert’.  This page is moderated by industry consultant, Steve Wilkinson.  This page features the answers to your questions. Our visitors can also post comments to these questions/answers as well.  You can learn more about Steve’s background and our ‘Ask The Expert’ page by Clicking Here.

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October 24, 2012

What is (ITR) technology, and how can it benefit my company?

“ITR”, otherwise known as “In the round” is the generic term that has been used for a long time to describe any image that has been produced around the circumference of a plate cylinder or sleeve in either a photopolymer or elastomer covering. The technology has been used primarily in Europe for more than thirty years with elastomer coatings being vulcanized, ground and directly laser engraved onto sleeves and integral rolls. While plate material has and still can be exposed in the round and is classified by some as “ITR” , I personally only classify it as true “ITR” if the material has been bonded or vulcanized to the sleeve or roll circumference and engraved or washed out while in a continuous format. As to the benefits of true “ITR” there are many ranging from dramatically increased press speeds, improved print quality, improved registration, more uniform densities, less dot gain, less bounce, reduced waste, improved productivity, improved profitability, less set up time and less make ready.

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October 11, 2012

We hear so much about best practice being necessary for good quality print but how do we define what is best practice?

This is a very big subject but for me best practice is about eliminating as many variables as possible on and around the press. You need to look at each aspect of the print process and determine what you believe to be the most effective in helping you to achieve consistent results.

This usually starts by measuring and recording what is being done to help to determine if it is repeatable and if the results are acceptable. Generally the use of measuring devices such as spectrophotometers, densitometers, video web inspection, interferometers, viscometers are necessary to help capture the necessary data in an accurate form that can then be repeated and measured accurately each time a job is run.

Always try to get your suppliers involved at the earliest stage possible as they will then be able to assist you in achieving what is best practice for you and your company and more to the point, how to define it.

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